JUDICIAL AFFAIRS

Corruption cases still on hold

Prosecutors are waiting for an official position from the Tribunal Electoral on immunity.

Temas:

The Public Ministry (MP) is waiting for the Tribunal Electoral (TE) to issue a formal resolution certifying that electoral immunity of one defendant should not paralyze an entire judicial process.

For this reason, several corruption cases remain inactive.

Attorney General Kenia Porcell is expecting the TE judges to send it a statement on the limits of immunity, as provided for in article 183 of the Electoral Code.

The TE, meanwhile, has said that it will meet with Porcell in the coming days to discuss the matter. 

The debate on the scope of immunity arose after the TE's legal department issued an opinion on the impact of this legal protection. That opinion stated that while a person with immunity can invoke that protection, the entire process can continue.  

The matter has divided legal experts. Former Prosecutor Sofanor Espinosa opined that the TE has "rightly" paralyzed the processes because one defendant having immunity injures the fundamental rights of the rest of the accused. 

"The Constitution is clear in pointing out that justice is uninterrupted and any contrary action is a violation of due process," Espinosa said.

Former MP official Ramses Barrera also said that criminal proceedings may not be divided into several parts.

But Administration Prosecutor Rigoberto González said that this is a matter "of interpretation," in which each institution understands the rule differently. He said the best option would be to eliminate immunity since it "create a privilege for those who invoke it."

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